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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Help your dog have a safer, healthier and calmer 4th of July!

The 4th of July is a great summer holiday! But for some dogs it can be a nightmare.

I have a lot of friends that have dogs who are terrified of fireworks noises who dread the holiday, every single year.

This upcoming holiday weekend is one of the busiest for dog shelters and veterinary clinics around the country, as dogs flee for their lives from the constant barrage of bangs.

There are ways to help your dog have a safer, healthier, happier 4th of July naturally thanks to a wealth of new products on the market that aim to calm dogs who are afraid. We will explore those products, along with some tips that can help your fearful dog. Although these products and ideas may help many dogs, we recommend you seek out help from a good holistic veterinarian and positive dog trainer with severe cases of fright with dogs and fireworks, 

1. Not all loud booms can be predicted during the days surrounding the 4th of July, so we highly recommend you keep your dog safely inside as much as possible, and leashed when going outside, even in a fenced in back yard. We've known dogs that normally wouldn't even think or be able to jump a six foot fence, get dangerously lost when frightened by an unexpected big boomer.

2. ID always! Keep your dog's collar with ID tags on at all times, to assist them in getting safely home if lost. You can find beautiful ID tags through Uncommon Paws, including the Blanket ID system that will send a broadcast email to local SPCA, animal hospitals, shelters, other local blanketID members in the US and Canada if your pet is lost.

3. Thinking of taking your dog along to the big 4th of July parade or outing? Keep them safely at home for safety sake. All the loud sirens, unexpected bangs of muskets and fireworks can be too much for many, many dogs.

4. Having a backyard get together and want to include your dog? Be sure and keep them safely leashed throughout the event when outdoors, to combat the unexpected, like flaming barbecues, unsafe foods, and sizzling sparklers.

5. Many folks have had a lot of luck desensitizing dogs to the sounds of fireworks displays. This is one way to help your dog get used to the bangs and whizzes. You can find sounds of fireworks displays on iTunes and on Amazon through MP3 downloads that may be very helpful. Or you can utilize the YouTube vid on the right. Work with your dog in a positive way to calmly and happily be around the noise by using treats and soothing actions and words. Reward them for paying attention to you and for being calm when listening.

6. When fireworks are expected you can help your dog cope a little more by keeping them inside in an area where they feel the most comfortable, playing calming music, surrounding them with their favorite bed and toys, and getting down on their level to spend the scary time close to them. Great positive dog trainers can also guide you in helping to clicker train them to be a little more comfortable.

7. There are many new products on the market that can help dogs feel more comfortable and less fearful. We recommend the Thundershirt and the Anxiety Wrap as great products that help dogs feel more comfortable.

You can also improvise and utilize a bath towel to wrap and hug your dog for comfort, simulating these wraps.

We also recommend essential oil based products and homeopathics that have calming effects on dogs, like Organic Herbal Remedy: Calm Down from Earth Animal, Canine Calm from Earth Heart, Rescue Remedy which you can also purchase through Earth Animal. and Homeopet Anxiety and Separation Remedy through TheDogmaOnline.

Other helpful products include Cranimals Zen Dog Biscuits that contain tummy soothing ingredients available through Eco-Dogs and Ginger Krispies from Kanine Krispies to further settle the tummy from stress.

8. Above all, it's important to remain calm for your dog. If you feel frightened or anxious around and for your dog, they are sure to pick up on your stress and be even more anxious.

9. What do we do?

We spend time together on fireworks nights, playing games, doing tricks, searching for our targets, getting lots of belly rubs, and even getting treats and praise when we look at Mum after a big boomer (we look to her for information and reassurance!), and she says, wow, that was a big one and smiles. But the main thing is we keep busy, busy playing, busy doing tricks and busy paying attention to Mum for treats and praise.

We hope you have a great 4th of July holiday with your family, both 2 and 4-legged! Keep safe and keep healthy!

Patriotic pup photos courtesy of Bogart from To Aire is Define and Randy on Flickr.


  1. Keep your dogs secure and safe for 4th of July guys!

  2. A fear of fireworks is a fairly common phobia for dogs.In our case, frightened dog became aggressive. Now we need professional help.

  3. Not only for the fourth of July, but also during the New Year and Christmas. One must not forget that they tend to be forgotten in our busy schedule for our Holiday affairs. On a note, I usually buy wholesale dog collars for give away gifts for friends who attends our parties.


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